Happy 2013! As we begin a new year, I can’t help but think back a year ago…and oddly enough, we weren’t even runners this time last year! It was the Christmas gift of an iPod nano that inspired me to take my workouts from the comfort of my indoor elliptical machine to the sloppy streets outside where I quickly realized that I loved to run!
It didn’t take long for my loyal love of Disney to merge with this newfound love for running when I discovered a whole new world: runDisney! My sights quickly zeroed in on the Princess Half-Marathon…but it seemed like such a huge goal. That’s when Alana entered the picture, asking me for advice on how to get moving and lose that stubborn baby weight. She was looking for inspiration and I gave it to her in the form of a YouTube video about the Princess Half-Marathon – and within the week, our plans were set! But how to get there? Baby steps:
I remember this one fondly – not so sure Alana can say the same! Because we live in different cities, we don’t get to run together very often. This was Alana’s first time running a 5K with me cheering her along the entire route – she was thinking I was a pretty huge pain in her butt until she finished! At that point, she was so grateful to have hit her first running milestone and we celebrated with lunch out and a visit to Lululemon because, really, if we are going to be training, we need the right gear. Obviously.
After this introduction to racing, we stacked our calendar with races that would take us through our training and keep us on track. Next up was a 10K I did on my own at Canada’s Wonderland. I was coming off my first minor injury, a strained hip flexor, when I tackled my first 10K race. It was great training for Disney to run through a theme park and go from the race to hitting the rides until the park closed!
The weekend after this race, we were on to the next one: Beat Beethoven which was an 8K race with a 50 minute challenge time. Alana was ill leading up to this race so dropped to the 4K fun run, but we were both happy with our results that day – and yes, we both “beat” Beethoven!
This is where the summer temperatures started to soar – and they were the highest on record with a humidex that would not quit! However, neither did we. Next up was a 10K race which would be Alana’s first 10K and would earn us our first medals! BLING!
Later in July, we ran the hottest race yet – me, with an eye infection and Alana, recovering from food poisoning. Alana had an “incident” on the course and dropped to the 5K. I finished the 10K course and then took myself to Urgent Care as my eye was swollen half-shut (hence the sunglasses in this picture!). Not our most magical race day experience…
Slogging through the summer heat was intense, but we had one more summer race – we saved the best for last! This one took us to Toronto to try out the Women’s Run series for a 10K. It was a girls weekend away and we enjoyed the change of pace, the vibe of a women’s run and the opportunity to meet some fellow Canadian princesses-in-training.
Finally, the Fall was upon us and all that hard training over the summer paid off with PRs all over the place! By this point, 5K and 10K races were “no big deal”…and we never thought we’d be saying that! Up first was the Oasis 10K Race at the Toronto Zoo which was FULL of hills and we truly had to earn that medal.
A week later was the most special race we’ve done – although one of the shortest, I had been working on this one for months. It was the CIBC Run for the Cure and we were running with a team I put together in honour of a friend who was battling breast cancer. K.Lo’s Krew was the little engine that could – a small idea that hit the big time with almost 145 team members raising over $41,000 for breast cancer research. Our entry helped Queen’s University win the Post-Secondary Challenge and our team went on to win the National Top Team Fundraiser Award. Best of all, my dear friend is now cancer free and will be running with us next year!
Time for something different – our first relay. 5 women covering various pieces of a full marathon during pouring rain no less! But we sparkled our way through the miserable weather regardless.
And suddenly our last race together was upon us. Our final 10K and last chance to best our submission for corral placement in the Princess Half-Marathon. We could not believe that the end of our racing schedule was here – and the next time we’d be racing together would be in Disney World!
Finally, one last race for me: my first 10-miler (16.1K). This was the race that fully highlighted the injury I am now dealing with, but it was a great milestone as it was the only race distance left to complete between all those 10Ks and the half-marathon goal.
Whew, we were busy in 2012! And now we look forward to 2013 when we will realize our goal of running a half-marathon at one of the largest women’s races in North America…in the most magical place on earth! Racing was all about quantity in 2012 – we booked tons of races, at least once a month and sometimes more. 2013 will be all about quality – longer distances, interesting destinations, beautiful medals! Here’s to a year of health, happiness and PRs!
Dream Big! And remember, it takes just as much energy to wish as it does to plan…